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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  June 24, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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national dialogue and reconciliation, political mechanisms, political activities are central to the future of the country and having the country emerge from this period a project-- fragmentation that it has just gone through. our work is to align countries in the region, all their neighbors and regional players as well as europeans and as in support of a common approach to strengthen national institutions so they can combat at least some of those threats that you have just articulated. long enough for libya to evolve to its next phase, supported by the considerable natural wealth that could continue to generate from oil at 1.5 million barrels a day as current capacity which could go up to two i am told by oil experts. ..
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>> i understand now and maybe you can respond to this that the administration has expressed a willingness to consider loosening the embargo to arm the gna in its fight against the islamic state. how can the administration insure that its allies are abiding by international law and not undermining the unity government, and how can the united states insure that the government of national accord is strong enough to control any arms that are supplied? >> lots of questions embedded in that question, sir.
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let's start with the arms embargo. we've made no findings about violations. the u.n. panel of experts in march, i believe, march or april issued a report which described the issues that you've raised without making any final findings. we talked to, i've talked to all the countries you've mentioned about the need not to support competing forces, but to support a unified government of national accord. and i believe we have very considerable alignment on that. i was just in the region last week on these very issues. the idea behind exemption to the arms embargo is to provide a uniform set of weapons that can provide relatively integrated counterterrorism capabilities to address the threat from islamic state and other terrorist forces near term and medium term. and to do so in a way that is trackable and traceable and subject to oversight so it
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doesn't disappear, go to bad places, go to the wrong people. that's the idea. and the idea would be for the libyan government to ask that of the united states and of other countries at the same time. and to have any exemption get notified through the u.n. so it's visible, can be seen by the p5 and other u.n. security council members and by the whole world. and that as a result of being transparent, be more subject to oversight and accountability for the libyan people, for the region and for the world -- >> if i may -- >> yes, sir. >> if i may, mr. chairman, one last question. that takes a condition precedent that the gna is sufficiently strong and capable enough even giving that process to insure that it can control the arms that it's supplied. have we come to that conclusion? >> yes, but it's also part of the responsibility of any country providing those weapons to insure that. it's, in practice, can be a
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shared responsibility. and i'm happy to brief further on that, senator -- >> i would look forward to that because, you know, i used to hold up weapons sales to some countries because i feared that, in fact, they did not have the wherewithal to do that, and sure enough, we lost a lot of weapons to isis and other -- i'm not talking about libya now, but in other locations, and we need not to do that again. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. just to follow up on that, what is occurring relative to daish or isis in that, you know, we had estimated 5-6500 troops, and yet it seems they're falling away rapidly. are they just blending in with the rest of the country? what do we think so occurring with the rest of daish? >> mr. chairman, i still have a fragmentary picture of what's going on because the situation is so dynamic. i've heard reports of elements
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of daish bleeding away to the south and to the west by forces to the east and west. they've clearly lost several hundred fighters. i was talking with a member of the presidency council late last night about the state of play. he told me that the forces of the government of national accord had essentially come into the city from the west and now had geographic control of the entire territory, the west and the south, that they still did not have control from about seven kilometers east of cert, that there'd been mines laid and improvised explosive devices and that kind of thing which are impeding their ability to get the rest of the way into sert. so i'm hearing of the establishment of other cells in libya and substantial losses of personnel by the islamic state to the forces aligned with the government of national accord as they've entered and regained that territory.
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i'm still trying to develop further information, but that's, that is the core of what we have seen so far. now, before this happened we were already seeing something very interesting. i mentioned earlier that daish is predatory and doesn't generate income or wealth of its own. it simply steals it. sert had already been devastated. relatively speaking, it was resource-poor. indeed, there were grievances that were legitimate because it never came back after the revolution to oust gadhafi. so daish was beginning to run into resource constraints in libya which i think were beginning to affect its success. now, i fully expect the successes of the past few weeks will be responded to by elements of daish, and there's domestic libyan extremists as well. there's al-qaeda in the maghreb, there's ansar al-sharia, they're still there. so the fight against terrorism
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in libya is by no means over, it's going to require sustained effort over an extended period. but the geographic control that becomes some of the base for the financial sustainment of isil is dropping away, and there's different types of daish. there are people who are core believers, and there are people for whom it may be a better paycheck or opportunity this week, but something else may be better next week. >> one of the things that we typically have to expend a large amount of resources on is building up a military through training and making sure there's a unified force. what is happening this that regard in tripoli -- in that regard in tripoli, excuse me, throughout lip ya either by us or by other governments to be building up an actual trained military force that can, in fact, do the things that we know need to be done there? >> mr. chairman, the presidency council has been in place for about 75 days now in tripoli.
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about a month ago, they announced they would create a presidential guard. they have yet to ask formers for help on that. i -- foreigners for help on that. i expect that is going to come. and they began organizing the current effort against daish which involved the creation of operations rooms to take them on which as we have seen has been remarkably successful, though no one should be overly optimistic that it's all over. it's not going to be. meanwhile, the general has continued his efforts to reclaim benghazi supported by other elements of the libyan national army. he's also undertaken efforts in during that which previously were preceded by domestic libyan extremists kicking out foreign extremists. so the picture is not a simple one. we're going to have to collectively -- we being not just the united states -- support the creation of uniformed, uniform police and military that can provide
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security on a national basis that are still respectful of localities and the need for local security in addition to national security as we have in our own federalist system. and that's going to be a multi-year project. it will have to be directed on an interim basis for the next year, year and a half, whatever the term of its existence and then by a successor government under the new constitution that they'll, we hope, adopt. >> let me ask you one last question. we had threw, i guess -- we had through, i guess, just the way we know things were aware that outside of sert, actually out away from the city there were training camps that had thousands of daish people in them, and they were, as i understand it, not near urban populations, but out in training camps. and we, of course, were waiting for a unity government to be formed and didn't want to be
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involved there without that occurring. but was there an opportunity missed to do severe damage, if you will, to daish while they were out away from sert, or was that ever the case? >> the united states has some criteria by which it evaluates when it can engage against terrorism. and a critical element of that criteria is an imminent threat to americans. and there are some other components to it, but that's a very important onement the president -- one. the president has demonstrated his willingness to take action as we did against a terrorist training camp in february, as we did against the islamic state emir earlier and as we did against another terrorist figure before that. the administration continues to
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be ready to take action when that action is warranted by situation that meets the criteria the president has set for such action. that's really all i can say. >> well, i will, i will say then it sounds to me like that, yes, there was that opportunity. that, yes, they were in training camps out away from sert and that at the time we didn't feel like those conditions that you just described existed and that, and in the interim they moved back into the urban areas. but the criteria was not there for us to take action, if i'm hearing what you're saying. >> i can't address the issue further, senator, other than to note that the islamic state has been very substantially pushed back from the geographic control that it had as recently as a month ago. >> senator flake. are there any other, i think, any other questions? do you have anything else you'd
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like to say or feel like you might have left an impression you didn't want to leave because you were cut off? >> senator, i think the most important -- mr. chairman, i think the most important thing i want to leave you with is i feel we do have a strategy, and the strategy has been to counter fragmentation, to counter chaos by working to get libyans and their neighbors and the region aligned in support of a government of national accord to operate in a transitional way to unite libya and to bring them together in a process of reconciliation that will potentially enable libya to build a state that functions on behalf of its people. i think the questions you and your colleagues have asked me today have been to the point, and i welcome the opportunity to testify before you. >> thank you. well, we thank you very much for your service to our country, and we're going to leave the record open until the close of business friday. if you would fairly promptly respond to any written questions that will come by the close of business friday, we'd appreciate it. you can respond after they come in, of course.
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i would just, again, i -- as i said in my opening comments, and this certainly isn't directed at you in any way, it's directed at our country. i felt like our involvement in libya was very poorly thought out. the legal basis that was thrown out by mr. coe from yale was pretty unbelievable to me that we weren't involved in hostilities while we were bombing the country. so that part, to me, was very difficult to digest. and then for us to decapitate a government and just leave it there and here we are in the year 2016 after this occurring in 2011, i think, speaks to what senator cardin said, and that is when we go into these engagements, we need to at least be thinking 30 days out after. and in this case, certainly that
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was not what occurred. there's been a lot of people tortured, a lot of lives ruined, a lot of problems that have been created throughout the region that have been very destabilizing and have bled into europe now. i think we can learn from this. it still appears to me that we have a really light touch, very, very light touch in a country that, as senator gardner and senator markey mentioned, could, in fact, breed problems far greater than syria by some onlookers that are in the neighborhood. it still doesn't appear to me that we've come together around something that has a sense of urgency or seriousness to it relative to the negativity that can occur if libya fell.
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so i don't know if you want to respond to that or just agree with me and wish more was happening. [laughter] >> senator, we're doing the best we can. mr. chairman, i'm doing the best that i can -- >> you know this isn't directed at you in any way. >> thank you, sir. >> all right. with that, the meeting's adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] ♪ ♪ >> c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. and coming up saturday morning, european union ambassador to the
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u.s. david o'sullivan will discuss what britain's vote to leave the european union means from a diplomatic standpoint. also, timothy healey, former director of the fbi terrorist screening center on the terror watch list and why he thinks it's necessary. and daniel griswold, senior research fellow at the mercatus stentor, will take a look at the referendum vote and what it means for u.s. interests. beginning live at seven eastern saturday morning. join the discussion. >> vice president joe biden spoke at the american constitution society's recent convention. this is about 40 minutes. [applause] >> thank you very much. please, thank you. thank you. [applause] thank you very much.
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[cheers and applause] you're very gracious. please, thank you. thank you. let me say i'm delighted to be here with all of you, including those of you who are stuck in virginia back there. [laughter] [cheers and applause] i don't know, i don't know how the hell you got the cheap seats, but i tell ya -- [laughter] thank you very much. there's only a few things i've learned in all the years i've been here in washington, but one i learned for certain. if you want to see your popularity soar, acknowledge and announce you're not running for president. [laughter] it really is amazing what it does. [laughter] if i'd known this, i would have announced it every year for the last 35 years, that i'm not -- [laughter] but thank you. i have had, presumptive of me to
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say that one talent is as good or exceeds anyone else who's ever had my job, and that is i've been able to identify and find and pick and convince people brighter than me to join me. and i mean -- no, i mean that sincerely. and the two people with the finest minds that i have ever met in my life are ron claip and my son, hunter, in terms of just steel trap minds. i've never met a man or a woman any brighter than ron. and that's been a great advantage to me from the time he was a kid, and i mean a kid. i hired him, he was -- he came down to do his third year from harvard at georgetown, graduating from harvard, because his wife graduated a year ahead of him and was, came to work for major law firm down here. and he was recommended to me then. he clerked for the supreme
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court, and everyone thought i was crazy when i asked him to come be chief counsel for the judiciary committee. i may have been the second youngest senator ever elected, but i think he's the youngest person ever to head up the, be chief counsel for the judiciary committee. and he has been a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant adviser. he's been a brilliant writer, and he's been a brilliant strategist. and so if there is anything many that tenure of my service that is worth noting, it's in significant part because ron was by my side, and i mean that sincerely. so, ron, thank you very much. [applause] solicitor general verrilli is here. i can't see you, where are you? there you are. stand up, man. stand up. [cheers and applause]
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i'm sorry the lights are so bright, i wasn't sure. i want to, i want to thank you, and i mean this sincerely, for your dedication, dedicating your entire career -- that's not hyperbole -- your entire career to the cornerstone of this democracy, and that is the rule of law. there's a reason why so many, you're the longest serving and so many presidents have turned to you. you have unimpeachable integrity, you have a brilliant mind, and you have a, you've demonstrated just an unyielding commitment to the document that you helped interpret or enforce by arguing for the government. and so i want to thank you for your service to the country. but equally as importantly, as ron can tell you and others who have worked with me, i judge the
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genuineness -- i mean this sincerely -- the genuineness of a man or a woman with whom i've served either in appointed or elective office by how they conduct themselves when they leave that office, to find out whether it was real or whether it was for some political gain. and your continued commitment to the rule of law, your involvement in this organization which is, i realize its tenure is not as long as other outfit -- [laughter] but, by the way, we talked about it early on, it was badly needed. you are badly, badly, badly needed. and you're filling -- no, it's really important i know it sounds like i'm just trying to be nice, i'm not. i genuinely mean it. no one ever doubts that i mean what i say, but the problem is i sometimes say all that i mean. [laughter]
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and i mean it. [laughter] you are, you are really very, very much needed, and thank you, thank you all for the role that you play. it is true, i was -- i came back from law school 812 years ago in 1968 -- [laughter] and my city, part of it had been burned to the ground. the city of wilmington, delaware, is the onlity in america since the civil war occupied by the military for a total of nine months. national guard with drawn bayonets on every single corner in my city. and i was -- i had terrible grades in law school, but i was a pretty good communicator. i won an international court competition, a few other things, and i talked myself into getting
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a job with a, quote, white shoe law firm that was the oldest law firm in the state of delaware. and after a case in federal court which -- and it was a fine firm where we were defending major oil company -- and we won, and i had written. that was before i got admitted to the bar. in those days you took the bar in september, it's still that way in delaware. you take it in september, you don't get your results until december, it's given once a year. but i was sitting in the second chair with a senior partner. i wrote a brief for a directed verdict9 in this case, and we won. and it was reason to celebrate. but i looked over at the defendant, and i thought, oh, god, you know? we upheld the law, but this poor kid is in real bad shape. he was injured cleaning out a containment vessel at an oil company. and the senior partner was a good man, dupont, invited me
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to go to lunch at the wilmington club. that is in delaware. there were no catholics or blacks or jews allowed in that club, and it was considered a great honor for me to go to the wilmington club. i demurred, and i walked across rodney square. if any of you have had corporate cases in delaware, you know what i mean, went to the basement of a building that was catty corner, walked into the public defender's office. a guy named frank kearns, and i said, frank, i'd like to come to work or for the public defender's office, he said don't you work for -- i said, yes. he said, are you crazy? [laughter] from that moment on, my judgment has been questioned by everyone in the state of delaware. [laughter] [applause] you think i'm kidding, i'm not kidding. [laughter] but i learned early on, man, what you've all learned. there's a lot of people that are successful and not happy.
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if you want to be successful and happy, work like hell and to what you believe in. and that's what all of you do -- [applause] i have not made many bones about it, i am a fan of elizabeth warren. she's a great personal friend, and i missed her speech before you tonight, but i got to see her outside. [laughter] before we left. and we compared notes on a number of things. [laughter] and she told me just go up and say thank you and leave. [laughter] look, i know you asked me here tonight to speak about the unprecedented dysfunction that the senate is literally spreading to a third branch of government, our highest court. but there is a fundamental issue that i'd like to raise briefly
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which i think is related to the issue before i begin specifically on the refusal to hold a hearing for chief judge merrick garland. and that is that i believe that -- and i have not been one, and ron can tell you with, i'm not really big on engaging in even if it's justified attacking another, an opponent in a campaign or being negative. we've sort of crossed the line here. the republican presidential nominee, i believe -- and i mean this literally, this is not a political point -- i think his conduct literally undermining and threatening and potentially doing damage to the constitutional imperative of an independent judiciary that the american people can have faith in. it matters.
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it matters that the people have faith in the impartiality of the court. alexander hamilton wrote in federalist 78, he said: the complete independence of the courts of justice is peculiarly essential in, for a limited constitution. to guarantee that inagainst, and i know i'm -- independence, and i know i'm preaching to the choir, to protect against political pressure, the framers included the compensation clause which restricts the ability of either branch of government to reduce a judge's compensation while they're in office, life tenure, removal only by impeachment and a supermajority impeachment in the united states senate. pretty, pretty bold and provocative at the time
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statements of we expect this branch of government to be co-equal, independent, and it's essential that its believability, there's confidence of the people. it's like mussolini's comment, how many italians -- how many regiments does the pope have? well, you know, what does the court have? what does it have? it has its reputation that it is, in fact, it is, in fact, impartial. that it is it, in fact, prepareo rule on the merits. that it is not subject to intimidation. that's a precious, precious, precious commodity that in our separation of powers the court
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cannot afford to have undermined. >> but it is real. it is c-- it really matters. look at the lens. even the divided court, over the
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history, has gone over subjects to make sure they had enough votes to get a preponderance beyond a single vote so they would say to the country this is the law of the land. you know, the fact is that the founding fathers didn't think the litigation of the federal courts is not deal making by another means. the framers of the constitution didn't examine a presidential candidate of one of the political parties personally
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attacking a federally sitting judge as the nominee or presumption of a major party. for a candidate to call a judge a hater, a total disgrace, to quote him, because he allows people claiming to have been victimized by the candidate in his capacity as a private businessman. to proceed. and because the judge dares unseal and undue documents which are in his power to do. i don't think the framers envisioned a presidential candidate accusing a judge of being incapable of reaching a
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fair decision because of his ethnic descent, because he was hispanic or anything else. because he was from tennessee or from delaware. because he or she was anything identifiable as distinct in who the candidate was. because, he says, the judge ruled against him in light of his anti-mexican proposals. mr. trump is a unique attempt to intimidate the federal judiciary. other private citizens have tried to put the pressure on but not private citizens who are placed in close range of the white house by one of our great
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political parties. it is one thing for a private citizen to attempt to three his weight around, to try to influence him, help him and demolish his advisary. and another thing for a presumptive candidate to do this. folks, i have not been out responding in my capacity as vice president to anything mr. trump has said. it is my view a presidential candidate who publically attacks a sitting judge who ruled in a way against his own economic interest cannot be trusted to respect the
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independence of the judiciary as a president. [applause] >> those who are saying that is a harsh judgment, there is no real connection here. let's look at what that presumptive nominee said. his own words. after calling the judge who presided over a fraud case against him a total disgrace mr. trump said, and i quote his exact words, quote but we will come back in november. wouldn't that be wild? if i am president and i come back j do a civil case.
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he went on to say, and i am quoting, wouldn't it be wild as president to come back in november to do a civil case. how can that be interpreted in any other way than as a direct threat? these are words of someone who sees our federal judiciary not as an independent branch of government but as a tool he can manipulate so he can do what he calls deal with the law of our country. these are words, in my view, of one who would defy the courts if they ruled against him as president. not just in the business case but a case challenging government abuse of power. raising the specter of quote coming back in november quote
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doing a civil case from the oval office is not some available threat. it is a direct threat. and to use the office of presidency, worker to acquire it, to intimidate and undermine an independent judiciary is abuse of power. mr. trump, which is possible doesn't understand, i mean necessarily. he is a bright guy. i am not saying that. but either he doesn't understand because this is a realm in which he has never dealt before or he doesn't care. that would border on an impeachable offense for a president to use the great powers of the office to attempt to undermine a federal judge by placing pressure on that judge in any case especially one the
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president has in this case of personal financial stake. this kind of conduct is pernicious and unprecedented. in the legal profession -- the legal profession should not remain silent, should not put up with it. there is one prominent conservative legal person put it this way. this behavior in a president smacks of authoritarianism and tyranny. com i agree with that comment. [applause] >> you all know this as well or better than i do. our founders wrote, hamilton wrote, there is no liberty if the par of judging is not separated from the legislative and executive powers. i find donald trump's conduct in
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this regard reprehensible evidence by the bipartisan condemning of the action of what it is. a dangerous attack on the pillar of democracy, threats of intimidation and under cutting a judge and suggesting because of his heritage he is incapable of being fair and in addition to this it is racist. in addition, it is racist. [applause] >> it is not the racism that frightens me. we have dealt with racism before. it is the potential impact on the court. i might add a friendly note to my republican friends, many of them long-time colleagues in the senate, they feel trump's
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unfairness but accuse to affirm a judge who is more than experienced. [applause] >> the failure of my friends, and by the way this isn't a joke, it drives the white house senior personnel here crazy that i have so many republican friends. you think i am joking. as they will tell you, any time they have a crisis, send joe. it is like an old commercial for life cereal. mikey will eat it. it is because with all of the dysfunction i respect to senate. the greatest honor in my life is to serve in the united states senate as long as i have. the vast majority of my
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republican colleagues go better. this is an age of intimidation by gigantic contributions and the consequences of jerry manderiman meandering. the bulk know better. the failure of the senate republicans to even hold a hearing on a qualified chief judge garland has its own grave. practical and constitutional consequences. when our framers drafted the constitution they envisioned separateness but interdependence. autonomy but reciprocity. that is what they envisioned. otherwise there is no way these three equal branches of government could function were
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the wellbeing of the republic. robe robert jackson wrote while the constitution diffuses power it also contemplates practice will integrate and disburse powers into a workable government. he goes on to say it enjoins on branches separateness but independence, autonomy but reciprocity. in seven years as the vice president of the united states and 36 years as a u.s. senate half as the ranging member or chairman of the judiciary committee have seen the repripry
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work but i am seeing them fray. article one states whenever there is a vacancy for the one court, the supreme court, the president shall -- not may, shall appoint someone to fill that vacancy with the advice and consent of the united states senate. president obama fulfilled his constitutional responsibility. he sought the advice of members of the senate including republican members. he didn't get much feedback but he chose the course of moderation. i am not take the time to list the number of senior republicans
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who have been flattering in the past about eric garland, a man many of you have known for many years. the criticism the president got was from the left and choosing moderation. i wrote a long piece to the american bar association meeting back in -- when the hell was it? trying to think. in 1917? [laughter] >> talking about what the role of the senate was and what advice and consent meant and arguing in a number of law articles and arguing that the president should seek the advice. he needs and should seek the advice and the more divided the
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government the more proeft -- appropriate it is for the senate to raise its head. the president is to propose and the senate disposes. but the republicans in the senate have abdicating their responsibility by refusing to hold a hearing even. it is not required to hold a hearing under the constitution. for the longest time none were held. as the old jokes i have been in the majority and minority and the majority is better. but i really do, i think most people would acknowledge, i really do have a good relationship with both sides of the aisle when where was there and since i left. but i have never seen anything like this.
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the dysfunctional congress is beginning to undermine the norms of how we conduct ourselves as a government. it is not only violation of the notion of fairness but the violation of the constitution responsibility. it jeopardizes the highest court in the nation being infected with the same dysfunction that is not only recognized by the american people but recognized by heads of state everywhere i go. i think the white house will tell you i have traveled over a million one hundred thousand miles and i know these heads of state personally and they know when i speak i speak were the president. it is an advantage the secretary of state, national security advisor, secretary of defense doesn't have. that is the purpose.
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i will work out an agreement. and you know, i will reach across the table and shake hands. and here is what they will say: not a joke. all right, mr. vice president, whether i am in china, whether i am in ukraine, whether i am in japan, whether i am in any european country here is what they will say. not a joke. i would hold their hand and they will say shaking hands but can you deliver? not does the president mean it. every deal requires some give. you are asking me to go out there and support and i will take some heat but i am not sure you will deliver.
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that is how deep the dysfunction is. nobody has suggested, particularly me, that any senator has to vote yes on any particular nominee. noting no is their right and their option. it is an option of every center to exercise their right to vote no. but saying nothing, reading nothing, seeing nothing, hearing nothing, and deciding in advance to do nothing before the president names a nominee is not an option our founders
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contemplated or one i would argue the constitution leaves open. in my time as ranking member of the judiciary committee i proceeded over nine supreme court justice, more than any one alive i am embarrassed to say. i have supported most. i have voted against some. but every single nominee got a hearing. every single nominee got out of committee on the senate floor. even those nominees that did not receive a majority vote in the committee because i believe the constitution says the senate shall advise and consent not the judiciary committee. every senate nominee, including justice kennedy during an election year, got an up and down vote. not most of the time. not much of the time.
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every single time. [applause] >> now, unable to square their unprecedented conduct they started calling the biden rule until they realized the biden rule was the constitution. my friend, and they are my friends, mitch mcconnell and chuck grassley. they ask what difference does it make whether there is eight or nine members of the court. by the way, at one point he had eight members in our history. one point there were eight. there has not always been nine. but i believe, and i am sure you do, that it makes a great deal of difference. we all know the supreme court's rulings make a significant
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difference in the lives of everday people. more than two centuries ago, justice john marshall declared the court, quote has the duty to say what the law is. not the right but the duty. not an opinion but a duty. the supreme court has a solemn duty. disabling the court which is so divided at this moment as it has been at other times in our history, by keeping a seek vacant for hundreds of days because that is what it will end up being if we don't get a vote this year, matters not because the uncertainty perpetuates but the way it affects the country. justice scalia said if you have eight justice in the case it raises the possibility that by reason of a tie vote the court
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will find itself unable to resolve the significant legal issues presented by the case. we have seen it already. just in the past few months. pressing issues that prompted the court the grant review in the first case and most of the case because of the different decisions and circuits now remain unresolved. these the court believe are too important to leave in limbo are left in limbo, suspended in mid-air. a 4-4 court which may be fine in a narrow sense a majority of cases are able to be decided has many deleterious effects. increased litigation costs and dela delays.
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the burden falling more heavily on average americans than those with deep pockets able to decide which district to move on and move in. different rulings and different parts of the country. such a divided court leaves different interpretation of the law in different parts of the state creating confusion and uncertainty. we have another entire time of this potential confusion if the vote is not allowed this year. anybody who thinks that wherever the next president is, and god willing it is hillary clinton -- i don't say that for political reasons. but even if it is a democrat, the idea this will be brought up within a month, two or three is highly unlikely. even in a functioning system it averages over two months.
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so it is critical to have a fully staffed court to resolve important decisions. if the conflicts stand we end up with a patch work of constitution and federal law inconsistent with equal justice and application in america. federal law doesn't say it will be constitution in some parts and not in others. that could mean claims of race and sexual discrimination could come out one way in california and another way next door in colorado. claims of government interference in religion could have one fate in iowa and another in illinois. claim of unlawful policing might be resolved by one standard in nebraska and another next door in kansas. i spoke of his two much at
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georgetown law. there have been important cases in which the justice decided not to decide. i don't have to go through the cases. just ask the solicitor general. he knows them all by heart. the meaning of our constitutional rights, freedom of speech, the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure could depend on where you live. i think most people in this country think that is unfair. we are, after all, the united states of america. the constitution protects the rights across the board or it doesn't. the american people deserve a fully staffed supreme court of nine. no one, not one disabled and divided, but one that is able to
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rule on the great issues of the day from separation of church and state, whether there is a threat to the right of abortion, or safe and legal abortion, police searches, it goes on and on. this is the last audience i have to list the concerns to. [laughter] >> these are actual cases before the supreme court of the united states. we have to be sure the fully functioning court is in a position to address the issues and a geographic happenstance can't fragment this. the longer the vacancy remains the more serious the problem becomes and the more we undermine the confidence in the court. back to the issue of confidence. the problem is compounded by turbulence, confusion and uncertainty about our safety, security, liberty and privacy. this is an uncertain time in the minds of many americans.
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look at the election process so far. i am not talking about one candidate. i am talking about the process. a problem that will affect the future of this country not only for our children but our grandchildren. we cannot let this stand. so i urge you, i urge you to keep up the drum beat because i promise you they know better. i have spoken to 17 of my colleagues on the other team and because i have never violated their confidence i will not say to the press who they are. but i mean it. i am serious. they start off by saying joe, i know you are right. i know you are right. i have gone so far to tell half a dozen of them i am not asking you to step out first because i know it could cost you in your state. i am not asking you to do that.
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but i am asking you if anybody steps out, step out, step up. i think it is still possible. i think it is still possible we can have a hearing before this congress adjourns. i think we can resolve this. but the one thing i am certain of it will only be resolved if the pressure is unrelentingly kept up. if we continue to point out in the state and senators that you know better. if we keep the drum beat not with a personal attack but making the case why it is so important. my closing comment to you is stay at it. nothing ever comes easy in this system. particularly right now. but the fact of the matter is
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the vast majority members of the senate know what disregard the senate is held at this moment. they know that thai to change it. i am not asking anyone -- but someone will and when they do i expect the rest to follow. we don't need all of them. we don't need all of them. so, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for all you do. i bet paid big bucks to do my job. you don't. i know all of you wish you had my salary. i know that. but i kidding aside you are among the most respected voices in the nation. you recognize your intellectual,
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integrity and devotion to the constitution. keep writing, keep speaking, keep the unrelenting effort to get a hearing because if we get the hearing we have had judge. god bless you all and may god orlando our troops. >> next, cabinet secretary outline their plan to help incarcerated people reunite with society. and then a look at the retirement plans for americans and after that a look at the pension act. now attorney general loretta lynch and the secretary of housing, labor and education talk about challenges forcing formally incarcerated people when they reenter society. this is an hour.

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